If a former council candidate gets his way, Squamish may once again hear the clatter of falling bowling pins.
With the closure of the Garibaldi 5 Cinema on Aug. 8, Brad Hodge has set about filling in that gap. Squamish needs indoor, family-friendly activities to compete with its usual rainy weather, the father of three daughters said. His solution: a non-profit or co-op run bowling alley.
“I figure you’ve got to start somewhere,” Hodge said, adding that bowling is an activity all age groups can enjoy. “Movie theatres in general aren’t doing so well.”
Through initial research, Hodge estimates the start-up bill would be roughly $100,000. Once open, he said he sees the facility run by a non-profit or co-op organization, which would alleviate the facility’s need to make money.
“You wouldn’t have to worry about profit margins, just covering costs,” Hodge said.
If the venture was successful, excess revenue could fund new attractions, he noted, or be fed back into the community as donations for worthy causes.
Hodge has created a Facebook page — Squamish Family Entertainment Association — to see if there is a community appetite for the idea. If the site generates between 100 to 200 “likes,” he said the next step would be to hold a meeting with interested parties.
Hodge is continuing to examine the project’s expenses. Ultimately, Hodge said he would like to see such a proposal take place at the PacWest building across from the Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Company.
“I would really love to see it downtown,” Hodge said.
Bowling lanes are not foreign to Squamish. The Garibaldi Lanes were open for 40 years. In 2004, the five-pin bowling alley hit trouble after a string of broken leases. By February of that year, volunteers temporarily kept its doors open before it closed for good.